3D Scratch Tester UST-2

Capable of analysing scratch adhesion, scratch hardness and scratch resistance at nano, micro and macro scales. Rtec's advanced capacitive sensor technology allows measurements of penetration depth with high resolution.


Rtec Instruments

Rtec Instruments develops and manufactures advanced mechanical and surface testing and measurement solutions for research and industrial applications. We specialise in combining techniques that provide a unique perspective in material testing. Our testers include tribometer, profilometer, scratch tester, high-temperature indenter, and corrosion testers. Furthermore, our testers provide the most robust and versatile platform in the market for testing friction, wear, adhesion, hardness, roughness, and film thickness from nano to macro-scale.


Key Features

  • Integrated 3D Profilometer
  • Nano, Micro & Macro Scratch Tests
  • Scratch Flat or Curved Surfaces
  • ASTM, ISO & DIN Standards Compliance
  • High Accuracy on Detecting Coating Failure
  • Comprehensive Analysis with 3D Image Correlation

3D Scratch Tester

Rtec 3D scratch tester equipment to study scratch adhesion, scratch hardness, scratch resistance at nano, micro and macro scale. Inline integrated 3D profiler allows to create 3D stitched images to comprehensively and conclusively characterize the coating failures. Advanced capacitive sensors allows to measure penetration depth with resolution needed to differentiate coatings that have similar properties.

  • A: Interchangeable Nano, Micro, Macro Scratch Measuring Modules
  • B: Patented In-line Profilometer
  • C: Lower Interchangeable Motions
  • D: XY Stage
  • E: Upper Z Structure
  • F: Platform

Profilometer - Stitched Automatic Inline 3D Image

The automatic scratch instrument moves the test sample under optical profilometer and creates a 3D stitched image after the scratch automatically. The optical profilometer is specifically optimized for scratch test. The head allows to measure steep scratch slopes, transparent coatings (glass etc) and measure roughness, volume wear, method of failure etc. with sub nm resolution. The profiler comes with 5 objective turret that allows to mount multiple magnification objective simultaneously. The profiler head has multiple imaging modes to effectively characterize any sample.

White light interferomtery + Confocal Imaging + Dark Field Imaging + Bright Field Imaging.

Load Profile and Custom Motions

Load Profile - The coating scratch tester allows to do the scratch test adhesion at constant, linear or custom load profiles. The load range depends on the scratch head mounted (nano, micro or macro). The applied force and friction are measured using precise NIST traceable sensors with negligible thermal drift across wide temperature and humidity range.

XY Motion - The XY stage allows it to create multiple scratch on one or multiple samples automatically. The stage also allows to do coating scratch test in any motion profile (straight, curved, circle, zigzag etc). Both X and Y motion are independently programmable. The stage is used to create scratch and also to position the samples under the profiler after the tests are done.

Shown Left: Scratch setup with Inline Profiler
Shown Middle: Scratch with Rockwell Tip
Shown Right: Scratch with Cutting Tool

Interchangeable Range on Same Platform

Scratch tester machine is modular and allows to easily change the scratch head to accommodate nano scratch, micro scratch and macro scratch on same platform. This testing method allows to measure adhesion strength, critical loads, hardness etc. of both thin films and thick coatings. The scratch test machine also allows to mount various kind of diamond tip. The choice of tip depends on the coating thickness and the coating substrate. Few commonly used tips are Rockwell diamond tip, 12.5 micron, tungsten carbide blade etc.

Friction, Wear, and Coating Failures Data Correlation

  • Pre Test Image: Sample moves under 3D profilometer to measure surface topography.
  • Scratch test: Single or multiple scratches using predefined recipes are performed
  • Post Test Image: The sample moves under the profilometer to analyze scratch area
  • Report: Automatic visualization for failures, adhesion, friction, cohesion and roughness characterizations. Residual depth, volume wear, and permanent deformation easily calculated.


  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Bio-materials
  • Ceramics
  • Hard Coating
  • Lubricants
  • Metal
  • Optics and Glasses
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Polymer
  • Semicon


3D Scratch Tester UST-2 Brochure

3D Scratch Tester UST-2 Brochure

Would like to find out more about Rtec’s 3D Scratch Tester UST-2? Contact our experienced technical team today, who would be happy to discuss your requirements in further detail. Contact us today!